Imagine this life . . .

A young boy, 15 years old, living in squalor with his 41 year-old mother and 5 siblings (only one with whom he shares a father). He doesn’t remember his father who took off when he was just 5 years old, and his mother doesn’t really care what happens to him. She makes a habit of telling him she wanted to “flush him” (as an unwanted child) and that his father has legally disowned him.

He’s moved 7 times in 2 years (6 times within 6 months). He has been bounced around to live with some of mom’s friends but hasn’t ever had a real bed to sleep in. Finally he lands back with mom and 5 siblings living in a 1-bedroom apartment located 11 miles away from school. When there is money the kids take the bus to school, when there isn’t money they just don’t go to school. He is failing his classes.

Mom has now been diagnosed with cancer but doesn’t give any details to the kids. They don’t know what’s going to happen to her or to themselves and are scared.

Does this boy stand a chance at life? How does he cope with the reality ahead of him?

Fear and Desperation . . .

It’s hard to imagine how a boy living such a life can ever have a shot at happiness, success, career or marriage. He doesn’t even understand what that looks like. It’s not a part of his life experience.

At a point of desperation, this boy is matched with a mentor from Shoulder-To-Shoulder. They begin doing small activities to build common ground – bike rides, going to restaurants, outings to Old Sacramento and more. As the relationship grows, the trust grows. Friendly discussions turn to a strong bond, the boy looks forward to their time together and the mentor gives the boy a new perspective on life, a new understanding of the possibilities ahead and a path to find his way.

The mentor becomes such an important figure to this boy and his family that the mother actually opens up to him about her dire condition. The cancer has spread to kidneys, liver, blood and now brain. The kids don’t know any of this and she asks the mentor to explain to her boys what is happening. The mentor delivers the news that her illness is not curable and that time is precious.

New Perspectives, New Opportunities

Over the past two years life has changed significantly for the boy. His mentor got him enrolled in the Summer Math and Science Honor’s Academy (SMASH) at UC Davis. He also joined the Royal Ranger Junior Leadership Training program which is a Christ-based Boy Scout Troop. He spends weekends at his Mentor’s house and joins his family for church on Sunday.

Despite all of the positive influences, this boy still has obstacles that he is overcoming. His mother’s illness, lack of motivation at school, drugs in the home, etc. But rather than have to navigate on his own, he has a mentor who can help him understand the consequences and benefits to the choices he makes and help him find a new path for his future.

Help for the Future . . .

There are currently 27 boys waiting for a mentor. Without this person in their life, they may not have a chance at success in their future. Please donate whatever you can to help fund mentors for these boys in waiting. You can help! Donate Today.

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Set Backs and Breakthroughs

How can you escape when the past has such a hold over you?

It’s hard and it’s painful, but in the end it is worth it. For Joel and his mentor Dale, the signs of stress were all too familiar.

After having been a mentoring team for several years, Joel’s grades started slipping. He started missing meetings with Dale. When Dale got a message from Joel at the last minute that Joel would miss their third meeting in a row, he decided to investigate.

Dale was pretty sure that Joel was with his girlfriend. Circling the neighborhood, checking out Joel’s favorite spots led Dale to the dugout of the school ball field where he found them making out. Dale walked over and casually sat down next to them, surprising the couple. It was decision time for Joel. What would he choose? School or his girlfriend?

Rather than lecture Joel, in their next meeting Dale lead him through an exercise in dealing with distractions. As they discussed their distractions, Joel’s girlfriend was nowhere to be found. Joel was very reluctant to consider that his relationship with his girlfriend was a distraction. Dale tried to help Joel see how his choices would affect his future.

How do you move forward when people you care about don’t want you to change?

At first Joel refused to listen. Then about three weeks later Joel intentionally broke up with his girlfriend. She took it badly and diligently tried to get back together with him. It was a rough time for Joel. He was lonely without her. But Joel stayed firm with his decision to move on with his life.

On his own initiative Joel found, applied and got enrolled in a summer program at Sac State for criminal justice. Joel’s grades improved. He will graduate this semester and plans to attend Sac State in the fall.

About six months after Joel broke off his relationship with his girlfriend, Joel saw her at a school event and noticed that she was several months pregnant.

Joel realized that the baby could have been his if he had not made the choice to break up with her. He is grateful for the fatherly guidance he received from Dale, guidance that took his life in a better direction.

More boys like Joel are waiting for mentors. We need $50,000 by this Father’s Day to give 27 fatherless boys a chance at a new life. Donate Today.

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Living Life Together

Skiing in Tahoe, catching a Kings Game, shopping for back to school clothes. Normal, right? Something everybody does.

Well, no not everybody. Many fatherless boys in the Sacramento region are surviving day to day with few of the activities that most of us take for granted. These boys are more comfortable with drive by shootings than they are a trip to the mall.

That all changes when fatherless boys become part of the Shoulder to Shoulder program. Shoulder to Shoulder matches fatherless young men with male volunteers who act as mentors. They provide the connection to fatherhood that these young men have missed.

From the moment boys and mentors are matched they start living life together through special events, fun projects and school challenges. The Shoulder to Shoulder sponsored Freedom Hall offers success readiness workshops, Friday Nite Live, camping and hiking trips and other special outings and events.

“I started coming to Freedom Hall for the video games, but I kept coming for the information I was hearing that I never heard before. They taught me a new way of doing life.” – Semaj Horace, Freedom Hall Graduate, 2014

In another event, the ‘Great American Cardboard Boat Regatta,” boats were made by the boys from cardboard boxes and duct tape with minimal help from the mentors. Once completed, the boys and mentors went to the high school pool to give it a try. The boats were launched with one young man in each, armed with an oar. The goal was to see who could make the most laps across the width of the pool. It wasn’t long before the boats took on water and sunk. The winner made 10 laps. The next summer the boys had learned. When these boats were launched, the winner made almost 70 laps.

More memories are made together include visiting the California Maritime academy for a tour of the Golden Bear Training ship, enjoying Kings and River Cat games, motocross, and even turning “cowboy” at the Pro Bull Riding Tour.

We need $50,000 by this Father’s Day to give 27 fatherless boys a chance at a new life.

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It Takes A Village

We know that it takes more than a single parent to raise a child and the saying that “it takes a village” rings true more today than ever before. In our region, the number of fatherless homes has increased to more than 200,000, putting many our youth at a disadvantage. Statistics show that boys who grow up fatherless are more likely to wind up in jail or on the streets than those in two-parent homes.

But we can put an end to this debilitating cycle.

We, as one community, can have an impact that lasts generations. Help break the cycle on June 17 for the Legacy Challenge in downtown Sacramento at the State Capitol for a fun 5k Run/Walk. (not a timed event)

Join us as families and community leaders will honor men who serve as great fathers and mentors.

The cost is just $30 and will have a profound impact on Shoulder to Shoulder to be able to reach more at-risk youth in our neighborhoods.

Sign up with your family and friends today!

Richard Moore,

 

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A Joyful Connection

A fatherless boy. A new man in his life. Maybe for the first time. Anger, frustration, sadness and a spirit of fear is replaced by warmth, joy and a growing sense of acceptance and purpose. And Yes, just plain fun.

Shoulder to Shoulder matches fatherless boys with surrogate fathers called mentors to provide young men with the experience of growing up with a dad. It’s an experience none would likely have without the commitment made by the men willing to be mentors.

“At first I was reluctant to mentor because we were presented with a 6-year commitment with the possibility of helping your young man through college. Jeremiah and I have developed a relationship of trust, honesty, hope and a father/son-like love. I have seen the development of the character of a young man that I am proud to call my friend,” said a mentor.

STS needs your help to raise $50,000 to find and support mentors for 27 fatherless boys waiting for a chance at a new life. Can you help us?

The First Snow Fall

“The boys were on overnight trip to a camp in the mountains. It was winter and it had snowed. We have a picture of Raymond carrying a snowball the size of a cantaloupe. Carrying it with no gloves; carrying it as a prized possession. Having never seen snow, he was bound and determined to take it home to show his family and friends, most of whom had never seen snow either,” said a mentor.

Pride of Accomplishment

“I’d been to many graduations over the years and responded with the perfunctory hand clap and smile. This time it was different. I jumped up and down in my bleacher seat screaming and yelling with tears in my eyes. My boys were graduating: My boys that began our program in the 7th grade with an average GPA of ‘F’ or lower were graduating. All were above 2.75 some were above 3.0 and a couple were 3.8,” said a mentor.

Growing Together, Mentors Speak

As the boys grow from scared and hopeless children into young men of strength, character and accomplishment their mentors grow as well.

“I’ve grown so much with my own children, other people and my own relationships.”

“You see kids who think they have no hope. Their chins on their chest. You see them change. They stand up straight. They look you in the eye. You can see them change right in front of you. It’s very impactful.”

STS needs your help to raise $50,000 to find and support mentors for 27 fatherless boys waiting for a chance at a new life. Can you help us?

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27 Boys Need Fathers for Father’s Day

Help us raise $50,000 by this Father’s Day to give 27 fatherless boys a chance at a new life.

 

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STS Honors Founder Bill Coibion

Founder leaving nonprofit to focus on faith-based mission

Shoulder To Shoulder, one of few local nonprofits that addresses the fatherlessness in our communities, honors its founder Bill Coibion who has stepped away April 1, 2017, to pursue his passion to help men become all God wants them to be.

Coibion began with the Point Man Breakfast Series, which has reached over 25,000 men in our region. In 2004, Mr. Coibion launched the first transformational discipleship-based men’s ministry in the greater region as the Men’s Pastor at Adventure Christian Church. Then, in fall 2007, Bill began a long-term initiative to mentor generationally fatherless boys that enables them to become well-balanced, mature men in their family and community in the future.

“Leaving a legacy to the generations that follow is something we teach the young boys at Shoulder To Shoulder every day. There is no doubt that Bill is leaving his own legacy not only within the organization, but with hundreds of at-risk youth who are now living better lives because of Shoulder To Shoulder.” said Ron Crane, Board Chairman for Shoulder To Shoulder. “We are thrilled to ensure his legacy lives on with the annual William H. Coibion Jr. Award.”

To honor Coibion for all of the tremendous work he has put into the organization and surrounding communities, Shoulder To Shoulder has created the William H. Coibion, Jr. Award. The honor will be presented annually to an individual in our region who best embodies Coibion’s passion, dedication and commitment to uplifting at-risk youth.

“Bill has brought to light the devastating effects regarding fatherlessness and how it has impacted our communities. His relentless pursuit to address our region’s number one social challenge has made a real difference for hundreds of disadvantaged youth and their families,” said Dr. John Jackson, President of William Jessup University in Rocklin.

“Without Bill’s foresight and dedication over the past decades, Shoulder To Shoulder would not have made the impact it has in this community on the many young boys who are now on the path to success,” said Shoulder To Shoulder President Richard Moore. “His guidance and mentorship will be greatly missed by our staff and families.”

“I look forward to focusing my time and effort to encourage and equip men in our region to become Sons to our Heavenly Father that model the attributes of being a Godly husband, father and community servant.” said Coibion.

With gratitude,

Ronald G. Crane, Chairman

Richard A. Moore, President

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Richard Moore Named President of Shoulder To Shoulder

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Richard to assume day-to-day operations of organization addressing fatherlessness.

Shoulder To Shoulder, one of the few local nonprofit agencies addressing crime, truancy and homelessness through mentoring at-risk fatherless young boys and coaching their single moms or grandmothers announces Richard Moore will serve as the organization’s President.

Richard has more than two decades experience in the not-for-profit sector. Most recently, Richard served as the Northern California Area Manager for Education First and led the Master’s Commission Urban Missions Institute in São Paulo, Brazil.

“We are thrilled to be able to add someone with Richard’s experience and passion for helping at-risk youth to the Shoulder To Shoulder team,” said Shoulder To Shoulder Founder Bill Coibion. “As an organization, we are committed to helping the unprecedented number of young boys in our inner cities growing up without fathers. This seldom discussed social issue is having a devastating impact on our schools and jails. In Richard, we believe we have someone who is focused on breaking this debilitating cycle of fatherlessness.”

Shoulder to Shoulder, headquartered in Del Paso Heights, is committed to addressing fatherlessness through a mentor program that equips urban youth for life, enabling them to become well-balanced, mature men in their family and community.

In his role as president, Richard will oversee day-to-day operations of Shoulder To Shoulder and lead the organizations latest initiatives and outreach programs.

“Leaving a legacy to the generations that follow us is one of the most important things we can do in this lifetime,” said Richard. “Shoulder to Shoulder’s unique ability to focus on the cause of homelessness, crime and education dropout rates, aligns with my passions to help address our community’s deepest needs. I am thankful for this opportunity to transform the lives of disadvantaged young boys.”

Richard, a native of San Jose, California, earned degrees in Biblical Studies from Northern California Bible and Organizational Management from Ashford University. Richard is a distinguished author, having published with his wife, Jocelyn, The H Factor, a book on Corporate Social Responsibility and Employment Engagement.

Not only devoted to helping youth and the less fortunate, Richard and Jocelyn have seven children: Randi, Aravis, Debora, Rebekah, Adriana, Sean and Christopher; and four granddaughters. Richard enjoys international travel, global friendships, reading, yoga, journaling, camping and spending as much time as possible with his wife and children.

Founder and CEO, Bill Coibion, will take on an advisory role in Shoulder To Shoulder to assist with the transition. He will focus his subsequent efforts on developing initiatives to encourage and equip men in our region to become Christ like servants in their homes and area churches and model being a Godly husband, father and community servant to his children, family, friends and many others.

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Stories of Success

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Mary
, the grandmother of Jeremiah, a mentee, was singing praises about Jeremiah’s mentor. She told me how the mentor took Jeremiah to get a battery for her smoke alarm and installed it.  She also shared how his mentor graciously worked on her backyard.  She made a point to let us know that the mentor had Jeremiah doing most of the work – but that his mentor gave him direction and time.  “Jeremiah really likes his mentor!”  Jeremiah loves the fact that his mentor spends so much time with him. Perhaps it may seem like mentors aren’t connecting with their mentees at times, but when you are not looking, his grandmother gets to see the smile on his face and the confidence in his walk.  A story of love!


Elijah, a 14 year old boy, continues to impress my friends and our acquaintances with his maturity. On the Cast Hope fishing trip, our fishing guide commented on his goodness after spending 5 hours on the Yuba River.  My family and friends at church were also excited to see him paint alongside them on a service project in Del Paso Heights. He worked hard and never complained or asked to stop from 10 am till 3:00 pm. He is becoming comfortable around different people.  A story of transformation!


After understanding the STS goal setting process, my mentee, Chou, stared at the area outside of his house and decided to take responsibility for the “garden” strip under eve in front. Working side by side, we cleared, planted (gardenias and azaleas), put in drip irrigation and bark. Chou did much of the shovel work, cut and glued the PVC and helped with weed shield.  He seems very proud of his garden. It took us 4 hours! We finished in rain and dark but he kept working to accomplish his goal!  A story of success!


Jorge, my mentee, came to me after he and I had been matched for about 6 months and asked if it was possible for his girlfriend, Arianna, to get a mentor with STS. I told Jorge that I would look into it but that right now we only have men serving boys. I was curious why Jorge made this request so I asked him why.  Jorge said his girlfriend noticed the improvement in his grades and wanted help from a mentor to get her grades up. Jorge also explained that her grades have slowly declined as her freshman year has progressed. I asked Jorge “Does she think all I do is tutor you?” Jorge said he wasn’t sure but that she had seen Jorge’s grades improve from a .16 GPA to a 3.0 GPA on his progress reports and she wants to be a part of it.  A story of success and hope!


Yesterday Tammy met with a single mother who had recently been forced out of her home and currently living between family members. School started and one of her sons couldn’t go to school because the only shoes he had access to were flip flops and cleats to play baseball in.  Everything else was in storage. When I called the mom to ask her if any of her sons needed shoes, she burst into tears. “Oh my God, I can’t believe you just asked me that. I took my kids to school today and one of them wasn’t allowed in his classroom because I don’t have proper shoes for him to wear!” I asked her to bring her son and meet someone who wanted to bless her. Tammy and the mom met, as well as the young man out of school. Tammy gave the two boys their new shoes and we can only imagine the emotional exchange that went on between mother, sons and someone who cares enough to share.  A story of blessing!


Rose – Since implementing the tools I learned in the MHM classes, my son and I are able to communicate clearly, and more regularly. He is comfortable talking to me about things; whereas before he would shut himself up in the room, go outside to play with friends, or act out in subtle ways to communicate his frustrations.  A story about growth


Adam – From the very beginning it was clear that Adam was attending Freedom Hall for a purpose. Adam is fairly small, physically and his voice is gentle and sometimes described as squeaky. It took several weeks of attendance before Adam began to open up to his peers and the staff at Freedom Hall because he would often be made fun of in school. Over the course of time Adam not only began to open up to his peers but became a natural leader. During our team building activities Adam emerges as the individual who pulls his peers together to accomplish their task.  A story about maturing


Ericka – My son has adjusted very well to being in a different State. He has achieved honor roll at his Middle School with a 3.2 GPA. We both continue to communicate with our chosen mentor; whom we respect and love dearly.  I thank all of the STS Family members for all of your love and support. Thank you so much. I love the entire program – the Moms Helping Moms each second Saturday – the closeness of the entire STS Family – they are genuinely concerned about the uplifting, elevating and success of our fatherless sons in our community! Keep doing what you do!  A story of success!


Isaiah (Mentee since 2007) – According to his mother, within weeks Isaiah’s attitude improved and his self-confidence soared. Through participating in STS workshops and activities, he gained the tools to deal with his anger and the challenges he faced. With improved confidence and STS tutoring, Isaiah’s grades improved through 7th and 8th grade to a 3.6 average. After graduating from high school in four years, Isaiah moved on to Sacramento City College.  A story of transformation!


Semaj (Mentee since 2007) – I was never judged when I came here.  You are not judged for what you did or what you do. They would stand by me anyway. I didn’t realize what I was missing. If I want to lead, I have to learn to follow. They taught me to understand (others) before I can be understood. I learned about integrity and what it means to be a real man. Besides my mom, Shoulder To Shoulder is the most consistent thing I’ve had in my life. I don’t know where I’d be if it wasn’t for Freedom Hall. I want to help someone else so they can see how it feels and then they can help someone else, and we can change everything.  A story of transformation!

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The Gift of Literacy

Give the Gift of Literacy

You are lucky enough to be able to read this. Most of the kids we serve can’t… or are significantly behind in their grade level reading.

Some alarming news about school drop-out rates: (source: foxnews.com2008)

  • 1.2 million students drop out annually
  • 50% of students drop-out of public schools in the nation’s largest cities
  • Gap between suburbs vs. inner city graduation rates: 81.5% graduate from Baltimore’s suburban schools, while only 34.6 percent graduate from their inner city schools

In 2014, we will launch Project Literacy. The program will mobilize Grant High School students to return to the elementary schools they attended and meet weekly with two students each to help them learn how to read better by 3rdgrade.

Anticipated Results:

  • Improved literacy and reduce school drop-outs
  • Improved GPA, API scores and attendance
  • Provide the children of Del Paso Heights with hope for their futures

We need your help to get this program off the ground.

Would you or your place of business contribute your time, energy, talents or dollars to help launch this program?

Please donate what you can.

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